Are you a Canadian snowbird looking for a winter getaway that offers sunny skies, warm weather, and plenty of activities to keep you busy? Look no further than New Mexico! There are endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, and the culture and history of the state are fascinating. Welcome to the land of enchantment!
The southwestern state is the perfect destination for Canadian snowbirds looking to escape the cold weather back home. This guide will give you all the information you need to make the most of your time in New Mexico. So put on your cowboy boots, and let's get started!
Why is New Mexico a perfect destination for Canadian snowbirds?
One of the best things about New Mexico is that its winters are much milder than those up north in Canada. While you might have to bundle up if you're visiting in January or February, the average temperature during those months is still a balmy 10-15 degrees Celsius. If you're lucky enough to visit during a "warm spell," temperatures can climb as high as 25 degrees Celsius.
Furthermore, there are plenty of great places to stay in New Mexico, whether you're looking for a cozy condo, a spacious RV park, or anything in between. You'll also find a number of snowbird-friendly communities in each city that offer amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, and clubhouse activities.
Not yet convinced? New Mexico offers a variety of activities to keep you busy during your stay. You can explore ancient ruins and historical sites, go on an adventure in a national park, or visit one of the many top-rated restaurants.
Here is a list of the six best places in New Mexico for snowbirds to spend a relaxing winter vacation, complete with suggestions for things to do, where to stay, and where to eat.
1. Albuquerque: the largest city in New Mexico
Albuquerque is a hidden gem in the American Southwest that is becoming increasingly popular among Canadian snowbirds. Albuquerque has something to offer for everyone with its mild year-round climate, diverse culture, and abundance of outdoor activities. And best of all, it's affordable! Canadian snowbirds will find that they can stretch their dollars further in Albuquerque than in many other popular destinations in the United States.
What to do in Albuquerque?
Albuquerque is mostly known for its International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place on the first two weeks in October. The city’s convenient location in the heart of New Mexico makes it a great home base for day trips to other parts of the state. Here are just a few of many great things to do in Albuquerque:
● Explore Old Town: It is the historic center of Albuquerque, and it’s home to many interesting shops, restaurants, and museums. Be sure to visit the Albuquerque Museum and the Old Town Plaza, a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike.
● Hike in the Sandia Mountains: The Sandia Mountains offer some of the best hiking in the state, with trails of varying difficulty levels. And, if you're lucky, you might even spot some of the area's wildlife, such as deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.
● Visit the Petroglyph National Monument: This national monument is home to over 20,000 petroglyphs or rock carvings. It's a fascinating place to explore the history and culture of the area's Native American inhabitants.
● Take a hot air balloon ride: Albuquerque is one of the best places in the world to take a hot air balloon ride. What better way to experience the city's stunning natural beauty than from high above?
Snowbird-friendly communities and RV parks in Albuquerque
There are many excellent communities in Albuquerque that cater to snowbirds, each with its own set of amenities and activities, such as:
● The Hideaway at Tanoan
● Vista Del Rio
● Sunset Ridge
● Tingley Beach RV Park
● High Desert RV Park
● NomadLand RV Stay Albuquerque
Best places to eat in Albuquerque
Albuquerque has many excellent dining options, from fine dining establishments to casual cafes and bars. Here are just a few of the many great places to eat in Albuquerque:
● ($) - Padilla's Mexican Kitchen : Mexican eatery specializing in traditional home-cooked dishes like enchiladas and tamales.
● ($) - The Grove Cafe & Market: Farm-to-table café with a focus on healthy, locally sourced food.
● ($$) - The Copper Lounge: Cocktail bar serving delicious drinks and small bites.
● ($$) - Sadie's of New Mexico: New Mexican restaurant serving up traditional dishes like green chile stew and chicken enchiladas.
● ($$$) - Antiquity Restaurant: Fine dining steakhouse restaurant with a menu that features seasonal American cuisine.
2. Santa Fe: the capital of New Mexico
From its sunny skies and dry air to its abundance of outdoor activities, Santa Fe has a lot to offer Canadian snowbirds. Located in the foothills of the Southern Rocky Mountains, the city enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year. And with an average elevation of 7,000 feet, it has one of the lowest humidity levels in North America. This makes Santa Fe an excellent choice for those looking to escape the harsh winters up north.
What to do in Santa Fe?
In 2021, Money.co.uk named Santa Fe one of the world's top 10 cities for galleries and museums, as well as for a vibrant music and nightlife scene. If you're hoping to spend your days exploring ancient ruins and hiking through scenic desert landscapes, Santa Fe is also a great place to enjoy some outdoor activities. Here are just a few of the many great activities and attractions the city has to offer:
● Explore the Santa Fe Plaza: The Santa Fe Plaza is the city's historic center and a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike. Be sure to visit the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously inhabited public building in the United States.
● Visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum: This museum is dedicated to the work of American artist Georgia O'Keeffe. It houses a collection of her paintings, drawings, and sculptures, as well as those of other artists influenced by her.
● Take a scenic drive on the Turquoise Trail: The Turquoise Trail is a scenic route that takes you through the heart of the New Mexico countryside connecting Albuquerque to Santa Fe. Along the way, you'll pass through small towns, Native American pueblos, and stunning natural scenery.
● Visit the Meow Wolf Museum: The Meow Wolf Museum is a unique and interactive art experience that is perfect for all ages.
Snowbird-friendly communities in Santa Fe
In Santa Fe, there are many lovely neighbourhoods that welcome snowbirds, and each one has its own unique amenities and activities. Some of the most popular snowbird communities in Santa Fe include:
● Casitas de Gila
● La Hacienda RV Resort
● Rancho Encantado
Best places to eat in Santa Fe
Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, Santa Fe has plenty of great options to choose from. Here are just a few of the city's best restaurants:
● ($) - The Shed: New Mexican restaurant serving traditional dishes like green chile stew and chicken enchiladas.
● ($$) - Cafe Pasqual's: Popular breakfast spot serving New Mexican favourites like huevos rancheros and chilaquiles.
● ($$$) - La Plancha: Upscale Mexican restaurant known for its creative takes on traditional dishes.
● ($$$$) - Geronimo: Fine dining restaurant featuring modern American cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.
3. Las Cruces: the perfect place for a laid-back vacation
Las Cruces is a great place to kick back and relax with its relaxed atmosphere and proximity to some of New Mexico's best hiking and golfing. As the second-largest city in New Mexico, Las Cruces offers a lively downtown cultural scene, including restaurants, galleries, deco theatres, music venues, and more. There are also a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy, including hiking, biking, and bird watching. Finally, Las Cruces is an affordable destination with a number of affordable hotels and restaurants.
What to do in Las Cruces
There are many great things to do in Las Cruces. Here are just a few of the many options:
● Visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History: The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a must-see for anyone interested in space exploration. The museum houses a collection of space artifacts and interactive exhibits.
● Visit the Las Cruces Farmers Market: The Las Cruces Farmers Market is a great place to buy fresh produce and other local goods.
● Explore the Organ Mountains: The Organ Mountains are a beautiful mountain range that offers a variety of hiking and biking trails.
● Take a scenic drive on the Rio Grande: The Rio Grande is a beautiful river that runs through the heart of Las Cruces.
● Visit the Mesilla Valley Mall: The Mesilla Valley Mall is a great place to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat.
Where to stay in Las Cruces for Canadian Snowbirds?
There are a number of great places to stay in Las Cruces for Canadian snowbirds, ranging from top-rated hotels to vacation rentals to fancy resort parks:
● Rio Grande RV Resort
● Hacienda RV Resort
● Desert Rose RV Park
● Sunny Acres RV park
Best places to eat in Las Cruces
Las Cruces, New Mexico, is home to a wide variety of excellent dining options. Here are just a few of the city's best restaurants:
● ($) - Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant: This restaurant serves delicious and affordable Mexican food.
● ($) - Pho Zero Degree: This is the place to be for a bowl of authentic Vietnamese noodle soup.
● ($$) - The Game Sports Bar and Grill: This sports bar is a great place to watch the game while enjoying American comfort food classics like burgers and wings.
● ($$) - Habanero’s Fresh Mex: You can’t go wrong at this restaurant known for its fresh and flavorful Mexican food.
● ($$$) - Double Eagle: Time to splurge! This award-winning steakhouse is known for its delicious food and royalty vibes.
4. Gallup: the small-town vibe
Located just a few hours drive from Albuquerque, Gallup is a scenic small town with a lot to offer Canadian snowbirds. From its beautiful desert landscapes to its rich culture and history, Gallup is a great place to escape the cold while enjoying all the comforts of home. And with average temperatures in the low 20s Celsius in December and January, it's no wonder Gallup is becoming a popular winter destination for Canadians.
What to do in Gallup?
Gallup is rich in culture and history and is home to Anasazi archaeological sites from around 300 A.D. There are many great things to do in Gallup. Here are just a few of them:
● Visit the Red Rock State Park: To enjoy the great outdoors, a trip to Red Rock State Park is a must. With hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, as well as a variety of wildlife, there's something for everyone at the park.
● Visit the Gallup Cultural Center: The Gallup Cultural Center is an excellent resource for discovering the city's rich cultural heritage. The center offers a variety of exhibits and programs that showcase the city's Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures.
● Take a scenic drive on Route 66: Route 66 is a historic highway that runs through Gallup. The highway is a great place to take a scenic drive and admire the city's desert landscape.
Snowbird-friendly communities and RV parks in Gallup
Gallup is home to several snowbird-friendly RV parks and communities. Here are just a few of the many options available:
● Desert Vista RV Park
● USA RV Park
● D & S Trailer Park
Best places to eat in Gallup
In the city of Gallup, there are many excellent dining options to choose from. Here are just a few of the best restaurants:
● ($) - Genaro's Cafe: This cafe is a great place to enjoy a quick and affordable meal.
● ($$) - Oasis Mediterranean restaurant: Let the reviews speak for themselves; this is one of the highest-rated restaurants in Gallup, so don’t miss out!
● ($$) - Fratelli's Bistro: To satisfy your pizza and pasta craving, you’ll find that this bistro is a great place to enjoy a delicious Italian meal.
● ($$) - Grandpas’s Grill: It doesn’t get more rustic than that! Grab a charbroiled burger and let yourself be tempted to Mexican American specialties.
5. Silver City: the vibrant and diverse town
Silver City is a vibrant and diverse small town nestled in the southwestern corner of New Mexico. The area is well known for its stunning scenery, mild climate, and a wide array of outdoor activities. It's also a great place to enjoy all the benefits of small-town living, from farmers' markets and community events to quaint shops and restaurants. The town is just a short drive from some of the best skiing in the country, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring the surrounding desert landscape. Silver City is also home to a thriving art scene, with galleries, theatres, and live music venues.
What to do in Silver City:
Silver City, New Mexico, is a hidden gem in the American Southwest. This charming small town is located in the heart of the Gila Wilderness and is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Here are three can't-miss activities to add to your Silver City itinerary:
● Visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Silver City. The monument features a series of cliff dwellings built by the Mogollon people over 700 years ago. Visitors can explore the cliff dwellings and learn about the history and culture of the Mogollon people.
● Explore the Gila Wilderness: The Gila Wilderness is a large wilderness area surrounding Silver City. It is home to numerous hiking trails, camping sites, and fishing spots. It's worth noting that this wilderness region is also home to a number of hot springs. Visitors can explore the Gila Wilderness on foot, by horseback, or by car.
● Visit the City of Rocks State Park: The City of Rocks State Park is located just outside Silver City. The park features a series of large rock formations created millions of years ago. Today, the park is popular with rock climbers and hikers. Visitors can also enjoy picnicking and camping at the state park.
Snowbird-friendly communities and RV parks in Silver City
Silver City is home to many snowbird-friendly RV parks and communities. Here are just a few of the many options available:
● Silver City RV Park
● Mountain Spirits RV Park
● Manzano’s RV Park
Best places to eat in Silver City
There are a number of great places to eat in Silver City. Here are just a few of the city's best restaurants:
● ($) - Corner Kitchen: Don't let the unassuming look of this restaurant fool you; this is the place to be for the best breakfast in town.
● ($) - Mi Casita Restaurant: This restaurant is great for enjoying affordable and delicious Mexican food.
● ($$) - Iron Door BBQ: This BBQ joint is a great place to enjoy truly fantastic brisket and pulled pork.
● ($$) - Jalisco Cafe: You can sample real Mexican food at this laid-back cafe.
6. Alamogordo: the desert landscape
Alamogordo may not be the first destination that comes to mind when Canadians think of escaping the cold winter months. However, this city in southeastern New Mexico has a lot to offer snowbirds looking for an affordable and sunny getaway. Alamogordo is situated at the base of the Sierra Blanca mountain range, providing stunning views and ample opportunities for hiking.
The city also boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it a perfect spot to soak up some Vitamin D. And with average winter temperatures in the mid-20s, it's much warmer than most parts of Canada! So if you're looking for a unique and budget-friendly destination for your winter escape, consider Alamogordo.
What to do in Alamogordo?
There are a number of great things to do in Alamogordo. Here are just a few of the many options:
● Visit the White Sands National Monument: The White Sands National Monument is a must-see for any visitor to Alamogordo. With its stunning white sand dunes, the monument is a great place to take a hike, go for a walk, or just enjoy the view.
● Explore the Alamogordo Zoo: The Alamogordo Zoo is a great place to learn about the area's wildlife. With a variety of animals on display, as well as a petting zoo and educational programs, there's something for everyone at the zoo.
● Visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History: The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a great place to learn about the area's history and culture. There's something for everyone at the museum, with a variety of exhibits, as well as a planetarium and IMAX theatre.
Snowbird-friendly communities and RV parks in Alamogordo
Alamogordo is home to several snowbird-friendly RV parks and communities. Here are just a few of the many options available:
● Desert Paradise Mobile Home & RV Park
● White Sands Rv Park
● Oliver Lee Campground
● Edgington RV Park
Best places to eat in Alamogordo
In the city of Alamogordo, there are many fantastic restaurants to choose from. Here are just a few of the city's best restaurants:
● ($) - Rockin’ BZ Burgers: This burger joint is a great place to enjoy amazing burgers, some might say the best in New Mexico.
● ($) - Alamo Pancake & Steakhouse Grill: Pancake and steak might not be your usual combo, but you’ll be positively surprised by this unassuming Mexican joint.
● ($$) - Hi-D-Ho Drive-In: This drive-in restaurant straight out of the '60s is a great place to enjoy burgers, fries, and milkshakes.
● ($$) - Rizo's Restaurant: This Mexican restaurant is a great place to enjoy affordable and delicious food.
Sunny times and country vibes in New Mexico
There are plenty of great places to stay in New Mexico for Canadian snowbirds this winter. Whether you're looking for a big-city experience or a small-town vibe, there's something for everyone in this beautiful state. New Mexico is a mecca for snowbirds escaping the cold weather up north, and there's no shortage of things to do. So pack your bags and head on down south for some sun this winter!